USAR: Hickory race report

HICKORY, NC - Bobby Gill passed Hal Goodson with 27 laps remaining Saturday night to win the Naturally Fresh Foods 250 presented by Galaxy Foods at Hickory Motor Speedway. Gill, the two-time defending Hooters ProCup Series champion, was able to...

HICKORY, NC - Bobby Gill passed Hal Goodson with 27 laps remaining Saturday night to win the Naturally Fresh Foods 250 presented by Galaxy Foods at Hickory Motor Speedway. Gill, the two-time defending Hooters ProCup Series champion, was able to use pit strategy to get the win.

"We waited as long as we could to pit and I think having the fresher tires really paid off for us tonight," Gill said. "Our car really seemed to work well towards the end of the race."

The win was the 15th in the Series for Gill in 47 starts. Goodson started the race from the pole and remained in the front pack of cars all night long.

"We just used up the car there at the end," Goodson said. "We needed a good finish tonight for the points and this will help towards the end of the season."

Two-time Asheville track champion and former Hickory Motor Speedway competitor Mart Nesbitt equaled his career-best finish in the Series when he brought his Chevrolet home in third-place.

"We want to thank everyone for their help," Nesbitt said. "Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina, Glaxo Smith Cline and Ingles have helped us make it possible to improve our program this year and hopefully we will have more finishes like this the rest of the year."

Lee Tissot, who won the previous USAR Hooters ProCup Series race at Hickory Motor Speedway last October, finished fourth collecting his fourth consecutive top-five finish. Brian Vickers completed the top-five.

The race featured no less than nine drivers who have competed at the historic .363-mile track on either a regular or semi-regular basis. Among those drivers was local favorite - and former Hickory Motor Speedway track champion - Shane Huffman.

Huffman qualified seventh and was running in the top-10 when he crossed over some fluid, sending him hard into the turn three wall ending his bid for a third consecutive win in the Series. Huffman entered the weekend as the hottest driver in the Series with back-to-back wins at Coastal Plains Raceway and Peach State Speedway. Huffman finished 29th after the crash, dropping one position in the points standings to fourth.

The race was slowed 10 times by caution with the final caution flag thrown to the field on lap 215 when Steven Christian and Derrick Kelley made contact while running in the top 10. Goodson restarted in the lead and held the front spot until Gill made his last pass for the race, holding on for the win and $10,000 prize.

Tissot led at halfway to win the $1,000 Lucas Oil Products bonus. Tissot has completed in the top 10 in six of seven Southern Division races this season. Hal Goodson won his second consecutive pole at Hickory Motor Speedway to collect the $1,000 Lance Snacks Pole Award. Kelley and Daniel Johnson eached advanced 15 positions during the race to share the W.J. Plemons Investments Hard Charger Award.

Dell Murphy used his 14th-place finish to collect the Miller Lite Rookie of the Race Award.

Stacey Puryear finished sixth, with Jay Fogleman in seventh and Kelley finishing eighth. Mario Gosselin finished ninth and Christian completed the top-10.

The Series will return to action in the Southern Division in two weeks when they travel to Myrtle Beach Speedway.

-USAR

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Series Stock car
Drivers Brian Vickers , Mario Gosselin , Shane Huffman